Accreditation

The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office proudly holds dual accreditations. In 1998 the Sheriff’s Office became an accredited agency through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). VLEPSC is an accreditation body made up of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The Commission requires agencies to meet 187 standards with the goal to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement agencies. 

Since 2003 the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has been a fully accredited agency by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA is a national/international independent entity.  CALEA was founded in 1979 through the joint efforts of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriff’s Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Law enforcement accreditation is a voluntary process in which agencies agree to comply with 459 professional “best practice” standards as defined by the accrediting body. Compliance with these standards serves as a commitment to professionalism.

Both accreditations are on four-year cycles. Standards have been developed, composed of six major topic areas: law enforcement role, responsibilities, and relationships; organization management and administration; personnel structure; personnel process; law enforcement operations; and operational support. The accreditation process benefits both the agency and the community it serves by ensuring that the Sheriff’s Office remains committed to providing the highest quality of professional service. It also promotes community cooperation and understanding, which are essential to law enforcement in the 21st century.

In 2022, the Sheriff’s Office received its sixth reaccreditation award from VLEPSC. The commission came to the Sheriff’s Office and verified compliance with all applicable standards. The next VLEPSC assessment will occur in 2026. 

The Sheriff’s Office had its most recent CALEA on-site assessment in August 2023. This CALEA assessment involved CALEA assessors interviewing and interacting with members of the Sheriff’s Office, county employees, community partners and citizens. The Sheriff’s Office was found to have demonstrated its commitment to law enforcement excellence by living up to a body of standards deemed essential to the protection of the life, health, safety, and rights of the citizens we serve. The Commission awarded the Sheriff’s Office with its seventh Certificate of Advanced Meritorious Accreditation. The next assessment will take place in 2027.

As part of HCSO’s commitment to our community to become re-accredited in the coming years, an Accreditation Public Comment Portal was developed by CALEA to allow citizens to share comments regarding an agency’s compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments may be shared in the form of commendations or concerns.

If you have a moment, HCSO encourages and values your input as part of our re-accreditation process.  Please click here to access the Accreditation Public Comment Portal. Thank you!

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